Kids Height Predictor Methods

Parents often wonder how tall their kids will be. Will they be short, tall, or average?

While there is no magic way to look into the future to see how tall your children will be when they grow up, there are a several height prediction methods that can give you a pretty good idea of what your child's future height will be, including:

  • Two Years Times Two Method: Simply double your child's height when he or she is two years old. The drawback is that you need to wait until that magic age or find the measurements you took then.
  • Follow The Curve: Use your child's current height and where they are on the growth curve at any age to predict their future height.
  • Genetic Potential Height Predictor: Predict your children's future height based on their genetic potential.

While none of the methods is perfect, any of them can give you some idea of how tall your kids will be when they grow up.

Even more importantly, they can be a helpful tool for your pediatrician to spot when your kids aren't growing well. For example, if your child has the genetic potential to be 6 feet 2 inches, but is following a growth curve that will put him at 5 feet 6 inches, then something might be wrong that needs to be investigated.

Keep in mind that many factors may influence your children's future growth, including their overall health and nutritional status and their genetic potential.

Two Years Times Two Method of Height Prediction

A two year old child
Can you predict how tall your two year old will be?. Photo by Rosemarie Gearhart

The Two Years Times Two Method for predicting your child's future height is as easy as it sounds.

To predict your child's height with this method, you simply:

  1. Figure out how tall your child is or was when he was two years old.
  2. Multiply that height by two.

The result is his predicted height.

For example, if your daughter is 34 inches tall at age 2 years, then you could possibly expect her to be 68 inches (5 feet 8 inches) tall as an adult.

Equation example: 34 inches x 2 = 68 inches.

Follow the Curve Method of Height Prediction

Follow the Curve Height Predictor
Use the Follow the Curve height prediction method to see how tall your child will be when he grows up. Photo by Vincent Iannelli, MD

The Follow the Curve Method of predicting your child's height is another easy method to see how tall your kids might be.

To predict your child's height with this method, you simply:

  1. Measure your child's current height
  2. Plot it on the growth curve
  3. Follow along on their growth curve, staying on the same percentile, and see where they end up as an adult

The result is his predicted height.

For example, if your son is 43 inches tall at age 6 years (the 10th percentile), then you could possibly expect him to be 66 inches (5 feet 6 inches) tall as an adult (the 25th percentile at age 19 to 20 years).

Genetic Potential Height Predictor

A child comparing his height to his grandfather.
Genetics plays a big role in predicting your child's future height. Photo by Marc Debnam/Getty Images

Of all the height prediction methods, this method that considers the child's genetic potential based on the genetic parents' average height is probably the most accurate. It's known as the mid-parental height method or the Tanner method.

To predict your child's height with this method, you simply:

  1. Record the genetic mom's height
  2. Record the genetic dad's height
  3. Average mom and dad's height together
  4. Add 2 1/2 inches to that average if you are predicting a boy's height
  5. Subtract 2 1/2 inches to that average if you are predicting a girl's height

And that's your child's predicted height.

For example, if mom is 5 feet 2 inches and dad is 5 feet 8 inches (average is 5 feet 5 inches), then you might expect their kids to be:

  • Boys: 5 feet 7 1/2 inches
  • Girls: 5 feet 2 1/2 inches

How precise is this method? It's not, of course. After all, there is no magic way to look into the future to see how tall your children will be when they grow up. The genetic potential height predictor has a 68 percent chance of being within 2 inches and a 95 percent chance of being within 4 inches of this predicted height.

Another limitation is that you have to know how tall a child's birth parents are for this calculation to work, which may mean that you may not be able to predict the height of your child if you don't have the height of their genetic parents, as may be in cases of adoption or assisted fertility procedures with donor sperm or eggs.

Source:

Clinical Growth Charts. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm.

Predicting a Child's Adult Height. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/Glands-Growth-Disorders/Pages/Predicting-a-Childs-Adult-Height.aspx.

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